Good morning, Bulletin readers. Details are still emerging about a shooting at a bank headquarters in the heart of Cincinnati that left at least three people dead. We’ve collected what we know so far, plus more news, below.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Another American city is dealing with the aftermath of a multiple-casualty shooting. On Thursday, a man opened fire at a bank headquarters in Cincinnati’s busy Fountain Square, killing three people and wounding five others before he died during a gunfire exchange with police.
- The shooting took place at the Fifth Third Bank building in downtown Cincinnati around 9 a.m. local time. The gunman fatally shot three people before police arrived on the scene. Authorities say it is unclear whether the gunman was killed by his own bullet or a police officer’s.
- No clear motive has emerged. “This strikes me as a multiple shooting of innocent victims,” Mayor John Cranley told reporters.
- The gunman was found with 200 rounds of ammunition. “This could have been a bloodbath beyond imagination,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told a CNN affiliate.
- The victims of the rampage were Luis Felipe Calderón, 48; Pruthvi Raj Kandepi, 25; and Richard Newcomer, 64.
- There have been at least 246 other multiple-victim shootings in the first 249 days of 2018, according to Gun Violence Archive. Here’s what you need to know about this uniquely American problem.
A 15-year-old was killed outside his Rhode Island high school. William Parsons, 15, was struck by a bullet from a nearby gunfight on Wednesday afternoon. The suspect, also a teenager, was wounded.
California passed nine new gun laws in the final days of its legislative session. The measures headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk include lifetime bans on gun ownership for anyone convicted of domestic abuse and people repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness; a shooting test for concealed carry permits; a one-per-month limit on long gun purchases; a tightened bump stock ban; a red flag law expansion; and a law raising the minimum age to purchase a long gun to 21.
New from The Trace: Texas officials from both parties are drawing on our reporting to shape proposed gun safety legislation. A Houston gun violence commission assembled after the shooting at Santa Fe High School in May is calling for legislation requiring owners to report lost or stolen guns within 10 days. Governor Greg Abbott, a conservative, pro-gun Republican, put forward a similar proposal earlier this year. Both recommendations cite a joint investigation on firearm theft by The Trace and NBC. Brian Freskos has the writeup.
Twitter is kicking the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones off the platform. The company announced Thursday that it would permanently shut down Alex Jones’s Twitter account and the account for his website, Infowars. The company said in a tweet that the move is a response to tweets posted this week that “violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations.”
The FBI processed over two million background checks last month, setting an all-time record for the month of August. The figure is lower than the number of checks performed by the agency in February, March, or April.
Most crime guns recovered in New Jersey come from out of state, a fact underscored by a report from the state’s new GUNStat program. In the first six months of 2018, New Jersey traced the sources of 1,524 crime guns, many trafficked from Southern states with looser gun restrictions via the I-95 “iron pipeline.” From The Trace archives: States and cities with tough gun regulations can be undermined by relatively looser laws just outside their borders. That’s because spot treatments don’t work if the larger problem is left unchecked, as Mike Spies explained here.
The University of Missouri’s gun ban doesn’t violate state law, a county judge ruled Wednesday. The judge rejected a claim by a law professor that the rule against guns on campus violates a statute allowing state employees to keep weapons in their cars. The judge has not yet ruled whether the ban violates the state Constitution, however, and denied the university’s request to dismiss the case without further analysis.
A Michigan couple is suing over the state’s safe storage law for foster parents. Licensed foster parents William and Jill Johnson are challenging a law that requires them to keep their guns stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition in order to foster a child. Such laws have a track record of preventing child deaths. Earlier this year, a RAND Corporation study found that child-access-prevention laws were the most effective at reducing both firearm suicides and accidental shootings among young people.
ONE LAST THING
Another teen anti-gun-violence activist was fatally shot in Chicago. Delmonte Johnson, 19, was shot to death on Wednesday evening on Chicago’s South Side. He had been working with the youth-led group Good Kids Mad City to promote peace in the city. Johnson is the second member of Good Kids Mad City lost to gun violence this year. In July, Parish McKenzie, 21, was killed in a triple shooting on the city’s South Side. As The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia has pointed out, young people often become involved in gun violence prevention to do something about dangers they face daily. Such is the reality for many members of Good Kids Mad City, a coalition of mostly black students from Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
“Our condolences go out to his family,” the group tweeted. “We will continue our fight.”